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“A very close look at some of the biggest issues affecting the black community today….”
“Not a story about black people in this country, a story abut Americans in this country…they are black Americans…a story that will resonate with everybody.”
These are quotes heard from Soledad O’Brien per this ground breaking spesha on “Black In America” and the first thing I saw was that this was supposed to be a two day special. So I said in my sanctified uppity Negro imagination: “So y’all gonna attempt to take ‘a very close look at some of the biggest issues affecting the black community today’ and expect to satisfy black people?” [emphasis added] Or are you really going for the Caring Negro Network award thinking that the April 4th spesha on Martin Luther King, kind celebrating his death (let’s not go down that rabbit hole) and now this TWO DAY long special.
It reminds me of the “The Cosby Show”episode “Mrs. Huxtable Goes to Kindergarten” where Claire was asked to go onto a Sunday morning local cable access station called “Retrospective” and when she would speak the other four conservative white men would talk over her. During one of the commercial breaks, one pompous fool said that she would only speak when it came to the black and woman issues. When it came her time, the men were pontificating and filibustering about The Great Depression. The host turned to Claire and said “In the remaining thirty seconds, what was the role of blacks in the Great Depression?” Looking all put together as only Claire Huxtable could, she simply said, “Do you really want me to sum all of that up in 30 seconds?”
That’s really my response–who are we kidding thinking that we can adequately cover the “biggest issues affecting the black community” in a two day special. Is that all Black America has been reduced to? Some epic special on CNN? If this station was truly careful about what it means to be Black in America, they’d put some sort of weekly news program about race on the show. Moreover, when are MSNBC or CNN going to give one of their blacks a shot at their own news program like Anderson Cooper? I mean, whatever FoxNews would put up wouldn’t be worth the toilet paper I wipe my ass with–but we already know that.
Now, yes, I’d be complaining just as well if CNN had reduced us to a weekly special as well, but at least the forum and venue was apropos to having some sort of meaningful discussion every week, but a TWO DAY SPECIAL?!?!?!
Black folk are going all crazy about this like this is some great achievement for black folk.
I mean, you all know how it’s going to go. We’re gonna sit here and watch this like we did “Roots” learn a few things ourselves, but mostly nod and agree and think that they did a good job for the most part, and always have that “I wish they had….” thought, and walk away, for the most part, satisfied thinking that this would suffice for white folk. But a two day special does NOT erase the nightly news. Again, using my host mother as a barometer, The Washington Post Metro section and nightly news has done a VERY good job of making her correlate black (men no doubt) and crime and inner city violence all together, ultimately inseparable. Even if she watched this, which she’s not because she says she doesn’t watch TV, those images, those feelings, those emotions will not even be shaken or feel vibrations by watching this special–a TWO DAY special at that. However, if there was a weekly program, that came along more than once a year (ahem February!) that provided a forum about race matters, then, I think there is some shot at eating away the entrenched prejudices that many white people harbor.
And since I’m on the subject, I want to talk about the Essence Forum that O’Brien hosted during the Essence festival. (Seriously, is O’Brien, the Irish American mixed with Afro-Cuban heritage the new face of Black America–do I even want to touch that one with a ten foot pole?) I thoroughly enjoyed Dr. Julianne Malveaux and I figured that she was about the only one I wholly agreed with for the most part and was challenging the thought processes of what was getting said, particularly her thoughts about marriage. Also, Cornel West never fails. Sheryl Lee Ralph came off as Angry Black Woman to me because of all the hollering she was doing–however, after taking a class solely surrounded on the issue of HIV/AIDS I refuse to deny her the passion that she feels about the issue.
Other than that, I think the forum structure somewhat fell flat.
Don’t get me wrong, I’m learning to appreciate what T.D. Jakes has to offer the black community, but I wish he was where he was at a few years earlier, and in my own humble opinion he still has some road to cover (but don’t we all?). There was also Ed Gordon, who gave me about what was to be expected as far as black panels have existed, nothing stellar, but not a complete failure, and yes, I thank God for the ones that don’t utterly fail. Where the forum fell flat was that, in typical Caring Negro Network fashion, and also as a result of this “sound byte” age, the conversation moved through topics of family structure, education and then HIV/AIDS and they thought it was a good idea to circulate the panelists. I think it utterly failed, in an attempt to get a variety of opinions, because Malveaux couldn’t get a complete stream of thought out and had to completely ignore Soledad’s question to give a rebuttal to young economist Dr. Roland Fryer and his ideologies behind paying kids to go to school.
Also, for the life of me, I couldn’t figure out why I saw Roland Martin sitting behind Tom Joyner, but soon I couldn’t see his face because of Joyner’s LOUD sparkling “Obama 08′” shirt.
I’m not holding out much hope for this crap that’s supposed to be coming on tonight, I’m not even going to give the times. I mean, if I didn’t have to work, I would subject myself to it so I can give a “fair and balanced” (LMAO!!) report to it, but I’m going to be busy the next two nights.
And I guess I will go there. I’m sorry, but the beige sista on CNN, named Soledad just needs to stop playing this black role. I just think the interesting thing is, if you have ask “Is she black?” as a result of skin color, hair and pronunciations, then do you really need to ask. No, I’m not trying to go down that “What is black?” road, but, I’ve had just about enough. Just admit that you had it a bit easier than the rest of us, and I’m quite sure when it was to your convenience you went on about how you were half-Irish. Ain’t nothing wrong with that, but don’t try and come off as though you lived through “the Black experience.” Again, I think your wake up call was Hurricane Katrina when they sent your beige-self on down to the Gulf and you had a bit of an eye opener. CNN probably hired you as the one to bring “some color to these monochromatic proceedings” and you leaped at it because you knew you had a unique perspective, and GURRRRRRL, they sent you on down South and you were out on those boats at the 610-Elysian Fields on-ramp and you just really aint know what to do with yourself.
And ever since then you been black.
Enjoy it while it lasts sister.
Keep it uppity and keep it truthfully radical, JLL